SPLIT

Gay marriage and abortion are now legal in Northern Ireland—here are Europe’s last holdouts

A couple kisses at a Pride march in Romania, where gay marriage is illegal.
A couple kisses at a Pride march in Romania, where gay marriage is illegal.
Image: Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via Reuters
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British MPs overwhelmingly voted to liberalize Northern Ireland’s abortion and gay marriage laws today, meaning both are now legal across the British Isles.

Poland, Malta, and Liechtenstein are the lone European holdouts with serious restrictions on abortion. In Malta, having an abortion can land you three years in jail. Poland bans abortion except in cases of rape and incest, risk to the mother’s life, and fetal abnormalities. Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland legalized abortion in 2019, and Iceland did so this year.

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On same-sex marriage, however, Europe is deeply divided. The only countries typically considered Western European that don’t have marriage equality are Italy, Switzerland, and Greece, but not a single Eastern European country allows it.

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